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Leash aggression

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I was walking Archy on the leash today at an oval/park we hadn't been to before. A 5 month old dog approached us off leash (tall puppy, taller than archy) with the owner following. Archy was excited and then raised his hair and tail. The other dog was just happy happy happy and a little shy/scared. The young dog then came closer and archy had a sniff then growled. I pulled him away and explained to the owner that he isnt very happy on the leash. We tried introducing them again and the owner gave Archy a pat. Then Archy looked at the other dog, another sniff and growl at him again and went for him. I pulled yelled at him, pull him away and we went home.


This has happened before. When we are at the beach and his off leash his happy and greets every dog nicely. But when his on the leash and he sees another dog he pulls forward and usually growls and has a go at them. His good off leash and bad on the lead. I've read before that being on the lead can make a dog 'edgy' and they feel they can't express themselves so they be more aggressive. Archy also has jealously problems but I didnt go near the other dog. I didnt pull on the lead the entire time (only when we growled). His fine when his on the lead and does what I say, except when another dog is near that he wants to meet. Archy usually gets walked at the beach or bush, so he isnt on the leash very often in areas like this.


I do not know what to do. I could of let him off the leash but since he already had a a go at the other dog I didnt want to risk it. It would of been a great opportunity to make new friends and Archy have a play. We are new to this area, would of been great to make some friends at the park.


Archy is nearly 4, and was desexed 2 months ago. He has always been a dominant dog.


What should I do? Whats the best way to introduce Archy to other dogs at the park? Anyonw else have this problems? Help would be really appreciated.



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Yeah, very, very common. I agree with "Feisty Fido." I recently also posted a thread about my dog's being much better meeting if I got down and gently held his collar instead of the leash, which I tend to pull on when I see the dog getting ready to growl. (This, of course, makes him more tense, though it does create space for both dogs to be safe.)


Update on the hand-collar thing is that it seems to be working really well. I'm leaving the dog off leash in the woods, and just gently holding his collar when other dogs approach. Even if they're really boundy (which Buddy hates), he seems to be able to move past the snarl very quickly. Once the other dogs move back to sniff his butt, he calms right down. It's possible that this is what would have happened on leash if I hadn't been so worried about a snap.


Buddy also does know a strong "leave it," and will actually stop himself if I catch his lips pursing for a growl. It's kind of funny to watch... like he really wants to be tense, but he knows he's forced to relax. :rolleyes:


Good luck. I think you can lick this.



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I have the same issue with Moose and it is not the dogs fault. I have been working with my trainer on this just last night. She has said on a number of occasions that dogs are not able to greet each other properly on leash. When a dog is on leash it is difficult for them to greet the dog at an angle like they normally would. Instead the dogs usually meet face to face and most dogs find this offensive. I know that Moose is leash agressive so when another dog comes along I simply put myself between Moose and the other dog and keep walking. Giving Moose the eh-eh call when he starts to go near the other dog. Sometimes he still lunges a bit but his aggression has gone way down. He is starting to get the point that he is not supposed to play with dogs on the street but rather just in the park. He is a very good dog at the dog park, when he can greet properly. My trainer has an awesome dog who is very well trained on and off leash and she still does not let him greet other dogs on leash.

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I like Fiesty Fido as well, and I would recommend On Talking Terms with Dogs by Turrid Ruggas, this one expains how dogs communicate with each other via body language and is really neat in my books!


I think Mary is on to something with the holding of the collar, but every dog is different, it still might be worth a shot. As long as you are squatting on the ground holding the collar lightly, not looming over the dog and pulling on the collar (that will stress him out I'm sure).


It is natural and polite to dogs to approach another dog in an arch from the side turning their heads away, so when we attach a leash and make them approach another dog head on it can be a very stressful situation especially if the dogs are known to be reactive, IMO the worst thing you can do in this situation is pull back on the lead and raise your voice. They can feel the tension and hear it in your voice, pulling them back can make them rise up over the other dog, which can be seen as a dominance factor in some cases and will make the tension even worse. The tension in your voice can also put them on edge and feel they are being threatened (dogs bark when threatened and our yelling can sound like a bark to them...) which makes them feel they have to react by growl or snap. Its hard to keep calm in these situations, so I am trying the whole Click to Calm thing along with a really good trainer and Daisy's reactivity is dropping significantly, although on leash meetings will be a challenge for us for sometime, we will work through it!


Sorry for the ramble.

Good luck, it's not a lost cause, find a really good trainer and some good books!

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Have you tried being around other dogs that you know? Walking around in circles in opposite directions? Stop and say "Hi" to the person, pat their dog and then keep walking. I did this with Usher and he is the "friendliest guy on the block." Sometimes, too friendly. He just loves other dogs, people, children, and older people, yet knows to be gentle with them. I had one dog, China, that for some reason did not like being on a leash around other dogs. She must have felt like she couldn't "take charge" or whatever the word I'm thinking of, when another dog approached and she was on a leash. She was fine unleashed, very friendly gal. I think your dog just needs some socialization tricks and being around a large group of people that are wanting the same thing. Puppy classes? Maybe a group that meets at a park, that's what I do- we all train our own dogs, yet work our sit-stays and such together. Heck, it's free. You should do a search and see what's available in your area. Even if it's an ACK club, you don't have to join. It's just people working their dogs and enjoying them. You'll see some mixes there, too. I hope this helped a tad bit.

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Cadi, my spaniel mix, thinks she's the queen of all other dogs so she has had problems on leash. After much observation, I figured out what her triggers are and went to work on them. First, I realized that the plastic prong collar I was using (like an idiot) to help control her on the walk, was causing her to react more negatively to other dogs. See other dog...pull hard...ouch..ouch...ooohh...other dog equals pain...bad dog...


So I put a regular collar on her and registered for a clicker training obedience class with an excellent trainer. There were only 4 dogs in the class and the trainer knew I needed to work on the leash aggression issue. We started with desensitizing her from across the room. Look good dog...click...treat. Then closer and closer until she was eventually right next to the dog on leash and not reacting. This helped her to associate other dogs with a more relaxed happy feeling because seeing other dogs meant good things coming her way.


She still is leery of dogs that are bigger than her and is not crazy about other dominant type female dogs. She absolutely loves the boys however. :rolleyes: It is normal for older dogs to correct an over zealous in your face puppy. So I keep the meet and greet with these types of dogs very short. If we don't have to meet them we don't. I personally would rather get to the point where she ignored other dogs on our walk. The great thing about the training we went to is that she no longer approaches other dogs on leash like they are public enemy no. 1. Cadi has also always been less reactive off leash. When you think about it, it just makes sense. She's free off leash to establish herself as the leader (which she likes to be) and to protect herself and me if she has to. She is a dog that is risky at a dog park so I don't take her because I can't control the circumstances there. Like...Hey mister..are all the dogs in there submissive type boys?!...She plays with her brother BC Jedi, and other select friends and relatives dogs so I don't feel she's deprived.


I hope some of this is helpful to you. Good luck!

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